Time and Mobility/Immobility: The chronopolitics of mobility and the temporalities of suffering and hope

An online lecture by Dr Roza Tsagarousianou, Associate Professor in Media and Communication at University of Westminster, London. The lecture is no. 7/9 in the fall 2021 online lecture series.

The presentation will engage with the relationship between the chronopolitics of mobility/immobility and asylum seekers narratives of ‘pasts’ left behind, ‘present’ suffering and hope for the ‘future. The data presented are collected through observation and repeat interviews with asylum seekers in the camps of Moria and Kara Tepe on the island of Lesvos, Greece. I argue that the data analysed invite us to rethink our understanding of ‘time’ as a linear description of events, or a singular metanarrative of the ‘time of encampment’ as temporal suspension from and reintroduction to the ‘grid of modernity’ (J. Ferguson, 1999; 2002). I propose that a better way to understand the ‘time of encampment’ is through the concept of ‘heterotemporality’ (Hutchins, 2008). Asylum seeker narratives of ‘pasts’, ‘present’ and ‘futures’, construct temporal trajectories, that both reproduce the chronopolitics of control - experienced through feelings of abjection and temporal stagnation - but also challenge the uchronic state of migrant existence embedded in discourses of migration that centre on the notion of ‘bare life’ (Sylvester, 2006), where historical and political time ceases to pass after having entered the liminal space of the camp.


Dr Roza Tsagarousianou is an Associate Professor in Media and Communication at CAMRI (Communications and Media Research Insitute) the University of Westminster and a member of HomeLands, University of Westminster. Her research focuses on migration, diasporas and diasporic cultures, European Muslims, Muslim identities and mobilization, multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Her publications include Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks (2013), Diasporic Cultures and Globalization (2007), Cyberdemocracy: Technology, Cities & Civic Networks (1998). She has co-edited the Wiley–Blackwell ‘Handbook on Diasporas, Media and Culture’ (2019), 'Diasporic Communications: Transnational & Local Cross-currents', Javnost/the Public (2002) and ‘Back to the Drawing Board: Rethinking Multiculturalism’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies (2012). She is currently finishing a monograph on The Securitization of Islam in Europe: Public Debate, Policy, Identity and Citizenship and working on data collected from fieldwork in the refugee camps of Moria and Kara Tepe in the island of Lesvos, Greece. She has co-founded and has been chair of the IAMCR Diasporas and Media Working Group and has been advising national and local government and authorities (BBC Trust, UK Local Government, Casey Review) and IGOs (International Organization for Migration, EBU) on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Participate in the online event

Lecture Series

The research project Mediatized Diaspora – Contentious Politics among Arab Media Users in Europe at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, invites you to the fall 2021 online lecture series on Middle Eastern media, diaspora and politics Post-Arab Spring.

All lectures will take place on Thursdays at 17:15 (CET).

For any inquiries, please contact project leader: Dr Ehab Galal